Prey

Prey

Watched it twice to really solidify my thoughts on it. Tapping into the Predator’s obvious colonial and masculine symbolism in order to tell a tale of an indigenous woman’s hunt to prove herself is a clever set-up and Trachtenberg’s cross-cutting between the two foes provides an effective build-up to their eventual head-to-head. I think what holds the film back for me, aside from a few bizarre cuts (what happened to that dude who was supposed to accompany Naru on the Lion hunt??) is the action. While gnarly and inventive, the action scenes rarely fit the tone of the film. There’s an especially egregious one take in the late second act where enemies randomly spawn from offscreen and run into frame to be immediately taken down. It’s cool, it’s badass, and it’s totally weightless. This is a problem with a lot of the action. The injuries never seem to mean much to either the Predator or humans, the bloodiness feels exaggerated in an almost comical way. It’s all so stylized that it’s hard to properly engage with the grounded, survivalist tale at the heart of the story. I get that you can’t expect total realism from a movie with a super space hunter, but it would be nice if the film treated the predator’s victims as people over fodder. It’d be nice if seeing a man getting sawed down by a net trap felt horrifying more than kinda cool. Maybe I’m alone in feeling this way, and it’s a shame because the central storyline mostly works otherwise, but for an action film, I felt the action to be this film’s weakest element.

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